01/15/2013 5:31PM

Dutrow's suspension to start Thursday, barring federal injunction

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said he intended to go to federal court Wednesday to seek an injunction that would prevent the New York State Racing and Wagering Board from enforcing a 10-year suspension beginning Thursday.

Richard Dutrow Jr., the embattled trainer, said Tuesday that he intended to go to federal court in New York on Wednesday to seek an injunction that would prevent the New York State Racing and Wagering Board from enforcing a 10-year suspension beginning Thursday.

In a brief text message in response to a reporter’s question Tuesday of when he intended to seek the injunction, Dutrow said “tomorrow.” The attorney said to be representing Dutrow, Mitchell C. Elman, did not return a phone call Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, New York Attorney General’s office officials confirmed that Dutrow’s 10-year suspension was to begin Thursday, barring a decision by the federal court Wednesday to grant Dutrow a stay. The attorney general’s office represents the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, a state agency.

Michele Hook, deputy press secretary of the New York Attorney General’s office, said Tuesday that the board has informed the attorney general’s office “to oppose any application for a stay” in federal court.

Dutrow had one horse entered at Aqueduct on Wednesday, in the ninth race. He has one horse entered on Aqueduct’s Thursday card, and no horses entered for the Friday card. If the suspension is enforced Thursday, Dutrow’s horse will be scratched, and the 60 horses under his care will need to be transferred out of his barn in order to be eligible to run again. In New York, stewards have the power to review those transfers. Dutrow, 53, was suspended for 10 years by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board in October 2011 and assessed a $50,000 fine. However, Dutrow received a stay of the penalties immediately after they were issued, allowing him to continue to train as he sought to overturn the board’s decision in state court.

Early last week, however, the state’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals, rejected Dutrow’s request to hear the appeal for the second time in the past three months, exhausting his legal options in state court. Dutrow’s attorney was served with the court’s order on Friday, triggering the start of a five-day waiting period until the stay could be lifted.

– additional reporting by David Grening